Premier John Horgan says the province is investigating whether the Alberta’s wine ban violates interprovincial trade agreements. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

B.C. already seeking new markets for wine in Asia, U.S.: Horgan

‘We are going to be seeking new markets to replace any lost market we may have in Alberta’

Premier John Horgan says he plans to intensify efforts to find new markets for B.C. wine, which was already being done before Alberta’s ban over the Trans Mountain pipeline.

Horgan said he promoted the industry during a recent trip to China, South Korea and Japan, and he plans to discuss increasing the province’s market share south of the border on a trip to Washington state next month.

“We are defending industries right now,” Horgan said Thursday. “We’ve made it clear that we are going to be seeking new markets to replace any lost market we may have in Alberta.”

The wine prohibition is the latest escalation of a dispute between the two provinces over the pipeline expansion project by Kinder Morgan Canada Ltd.

READ MORE: John Horgan won’t retaliate in pipeline feud with Alberta

B.C. announced plans last week to review limits on diluted bitumen shipments until it’s confident a spill can be cleaned up.

Alberta responded by halting talks on purchasing electricity from B.C. before it banned wine imports from its neighbour.

Alberta says it imported about 17 million bottles of B.C. wine last year, worth an estimated $70 million.

Horgan said the province is investigating whether the ban violates interprovincial trade agreements.

“We’re reviewing our options and we’ll take action when appropriate,” he added,

Horgan maintains the proposal to limit diluted bitumen shipments is not meant to be provocative but is aimed at protecting B.C.’s environment and economy. Alberta Premier Rachel Notley has called the proposal an unconstitutional attempt to stop the $7.4-billion pipeline expansion.

Ottawa has already approved the project, which would triple the capacity of the pipeline between Edmonton to Burnaby, B.C., and increase tanker traffic off the west coast sevenfold.

Earlier Thursday, the federal government announced an overhaul of the environmental assessment process that was used to approve the Trans Mountain project. Under the new rules, projects would have to be assessed and either approved or denied within two years, and reviews would consider health, social and economic effects, as well as Indigenous rights.

Horgan said he hadn’t had a chance to read the entire proposal, but he commended the federal government for recognizing the need to keep pace with changing views and perspectives.

The changes also seem to suggest the former system was flawed, he said.

“Does this say that the processes that were in place yesterday were adequate? Clearly the federal government doesn’t think so and many British Columbians don’t think so,” Horgan said.

Gemma Karstens-Smith, The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Qualicum Beach Fire & Ice Festival snuffed out

Committee announces termination of event after 25 years

Parksville-Qualicum MLA says throne speech thin on detail

Stilwell: Government lacks economic development plan to pay for promises

Big chill follows big dump of snow in Parksville Qualicum Beach

Sub-freezing overnight temperatures forecast for rest of week

Generals, Buccaneers extend rivalry as VIJHL playoffs open Tuesday

Oceanside closes the regular season with back-to-back losses to Nanaimo

Vaudeville variety show in Errington kicks off

Raunchy comedy, impressive singing, sultry dances and more feature in show

WATCH: Vancouver Island man catches dashcam video of near head-on crash

Video shows oncoming van cross over centre line

BCHL Today: Langley enjoys home ice while roller coast ride continues for Chilliwack Chiefs

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

North Island Bantam Eagles chop down Sooke Thunderbirds in semi-final showdown

It was another do or die playoff game for the North Island Bantam Eagles last Saturday.

Federal government to fight solitary confinement ruling from B.C. court

B.C. Supreme Court decided to end the practice of solitary confinement in Canadian prisons

Hedley withdraws from Junos, plans to discuss ‘how we have let some people down’

Hedley was dropped by their label last week after sexual misconduct accusations

OLYMPIC ROUNDUP: B.C. takes home gold in two-man bobsleigh

Women’s hockey team beats Russia 5-0, Comox skier takes home best qualifying score

Vancouver Island job market ever-evolving

Various sectors driving employment in region will be represented at Black Press career fair in Comox Feb. 8

Wounded Warrior Run 2018 leaves Port Hardy

The Wounded Warrior Run is a relay run where a group of runners cover Vancouver Island in seven days

Calgary man dies in Mexico following sudden illness

Troy Black was with his wife, Lindsay, in Puerto Vallarta when he began vomiting blood on Thursday

Most Read